Today I did not set an alarm to wake up because I am still feeling sick from my cold. When I got up I noticed the experience of too-much-ness which I have been experiencing over the past few months as overwhelmingness. During the summer I had been brought to tears from it several times, but now that I’ve listened to Bernard’s interview about this specific experience I understand it is the accumulation of attention towards a particular point. In my case I know that the points I had been working on were focus, self-discipline, time-management and of course, self-directive. These points have been extreme problems in my life in the form of avoiding them, evading them, so it’s a big shift for me to start incorporating them into my living application. I have had much resistance and physical discomfort as I have been working on these points, as well as emotional discomfort in the form of this overwhelming sensation wherein ‘it’s just all too much’. But I’ve gotten through that now and I am coming out on the other side of it with more determination and, as Bernard mentioned, a new perspective or point of view on this experience, and on what leads up to it and how it plays out for me.
My new perspective on this is that I now look at life, or my current experience in terms of the bigger picture. I noticed throughout this that I would normally tend to focus on all the tiny details and obsess over them and I tend to miss the bigger pattern or the bigger goal of what it is that I’m doing.
Within this, when I feel myself being pulled into the experience of being overwhelmed I stop myself immediately by concentrating on my breath and becoming aware of my physical body until my heart starts beating normally. This calms me down, whereas before I would, in a way ‘go with it’ and everything would seem to be happening very fast and I would feel that I couldn’t keep up. I would try to do everything right away and would always end up at the same spot: exhausted, usually sick, tired and feeling like I can’t do it. Feeling like I can’t keep up and I want to give up and I start letting things go and start falling behind etc... This pattern explains the tendency to start projects really strongly and then fizzle out toward the end, and then go into some sort of death throws just to survive and complete the task- whether it be school or a job or whatever. It’s really a very unpleasant experience and therefore I’m determined to correct it so I can stop beating myself up and no longer abuse myself in this way anymore.
Also within all this is the realization that I can only effectively accumulate myself, my self-will, self-discipline, self-directive principle (which will lead to better focus, better time management, and better self-movement) slowly over time. I can’t exert all my energy and completely wipe myself out and expect myself to gain any kind of effective self-support and self-trust this way. It’s more like self-sabotage.so I realize that to take it easy on myself is not to be lazy, but to first of all not let myself go into an experience of anxiety, stress and overwhelmingness, but to instead ‘check myself’ in breath. When I do this I calm down to a point of clarity wherein I can ask myself ‘what do I really need to do right now’ and then ‘am I capable of doing this effectively’ meaning, doing it with my all, complete focus and stability. If not, then I need to take care of myself like sit down and breathe or eat or drink something or simply stop and change environments and do something else.
Secondly, when I do decide within calmness and clarity, to do something, I commit to doing it fully. Today I experienced resistance to this type of situation in class. I have decided to take fewer longer classes instead of many short classes. This means paying attention and keeping my focus for 2 and a half hours at a time. This is very difficult for me and I experience the physical resistance to it as physical discomfort and I also become easily distracted.
The pattern I’m breaking here is the desire to get lost in my own ‘little world’ in my head, which I used to do every day in class since I was very young. I would draw or play in my desk. Now I listen, try to understand and try to take good notes. But it’s still hard at the moment.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to feel seduced by the desire to escape into my mind in class when I need to instead focus and remain present.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to become easily distracted instead of remaining present and aware for the complete duration of the class, so that I can understand the material, do well, and be effective in the system.
I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to exercise the will power and self-discipline to keep myself ‘in line’ while I’m in class, and instead waste my time by doodling and fantasizing about things that I don’t even remember.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to be seduced by my fantasies because they seem so interesting and so much more interesting than the lecture when in fact they are not that interesting but rather variations of the same old fantasies I’ve been having for years. They go nowhere, they’re good for nothing and they’re a waste of my time when I should be learning.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to define the classroom experience as boring and unbearable.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to define the classroom experience as boring and unbearable because I’m trying to escape taking responsibility for my own learning.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to define the classroom experience as boring and unbearable because it hard. It’s hard to learn new things and it;s hard to discipline myself and stay focused and integrate new information into my understanding of myself and my world, and thus far I have been lazy, which is what has made it all ‘hard’.
In reality it’s not hard, it just is. There is no value judgment for me to place on my daily experience, only whether I am applying myself fully-or not. When I am applying myself I face resistances, which make the experience seem ‘hard’ simply because it’s not easy and comfortable to change oneself and one’s patterns, habits, addictions, beliefs and definition.
So it’s not that any of this is hard, it’s just that it’s uncomfortable and new. And what I’ve learned thus far in my process is that I can just focus on my breath during and throughout that discomfort and it will fade. The energy will eventually run out and I will remain, I will return to stability in the end, and with my focus and determination and my application of breath, I can remain stable throughout the experience as well.
So I allow myself to remain dedicated to my process and myself by remaining focused and fully present throughout the duration of my classes.
I do not accept or allow myself to be seduced by my thoughts and fantasies and desire to doodle and escape pushing myself through willing myself to focus and remain present throughout my classes’ duration.
Also, a few pointers to myself on a side note-
I noticed that I become distracted and brought into an energetic experience of self judgement when I look at all the students and pedestrians in and around school, on public transportation and on the shuttle bus etc...
- In this respect I will work on not reacting to all the many people around me and rather focus on the bigger picture: why am I here, what am I doing right now to achieve that goal? Am I being the most effective I can be while taking it easy on myself? Am I being self honest? What am I standing as as an example right now in this moment? And Am I present?
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to look at other students and people and judge what they are wearing and compare myself to them in self-judgment.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to judge other people based on physical appearance and dress.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to judge myself as others based on physical appearance and dress.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to place value on physical appearance and dress.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to limit myself by placing value on physical appearance and dress.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to lose myself in my mind of judgment when I look at people around me instead of remaining present as breath.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to escape facing myself as who I am as life by going into my mind by placing importance on the physical appearance of things.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to judge people’s motivations for what they choose to wear.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing my motivations for what I choose to wear to come from a starting point of fear of judgment or of self-interest instead of just dressing practically and comfortably.
I do not accept or allow myself to judge others based on what they are wearing.
I do not accept or allow myself to judge other based on my projected ideas of their motivations behind how they dress.
I do not accept and allow myself to dress myself in order to impress anybody or with the belief that I will be judged. The only judgment is self-judgment.
I accept and allow myself to move through the day without reacting in judgment to the people around me.
I accept and allow myself to experience myself within crowds without being influenced or moved by their presence.
I accept myself unconditionally within big groups, and I move myself according to what’s best for all, and not what’s best for me.
I accept and allow myself to remain present within the crowds of downtown, within awareness as breath, without reaction, just silence within as stillness as stability as life.